book.jpgThe Fifty Year Sword

By Mark Z. Danielewski


Copyright © 2012 Mark Z. Danielewski
All right reserved.


ISBN: 9780307907721


“The Social Worker had mentioned
                              “but that night
Chintana saw no sign of any more.
    “Maybe the incresiating cold
                                             “or the
peculiar threat of a storm
                                            “or Belinda
Kite’s birthday
                      “had turned parents
from wrestling with seat belts and car
           “—from those oh so
                                            “many lists
of baby sitters tacked conveniently by a
    “Chintana rubbed the violet line
on her thumb as a woman with topaz
clamped on her ears burst past her
towards a small bathroom tucked
under the main stairs.
    “ ‘Such a hateful whore,’ the woman
sputstuttersobbed to Chintana,
                                             “to no one
in particular,
                   “diving for the comforts of
lock and running water.
    “Whereupon Chintana’s thumb
abruptly began to sore a little
                                         “and she
felt bleak,
                “as if a thousand
upon vengeances were dicing her
               “into hail.

    “Though the cause was none too
                 “—the front door just stood
wide open.
                          “Though when it had
been flung so Chintana would never
    “The porch lights were extinguished
too, oddly,
               “and what’s more a shadow
now cut across the threshold,
without moon or stars in the Texas sky
this was an awful impossibility,
                                               “for here
reaching towards her it seemed was a
shadow cast by nothing
the darkness itself.
    “Most would’ve denied the sight with
a turn,
                    “a cry,

“but maybe because Chintana too, day
out and night in, could so easily consider
doing the same,
                       “what would leave these
rooms drenched in silence,
                                       “and blood,
“she welcomed him.
“ ‘The orphans’
                        “was all he said.

“And Chintana showed him the way.







Excerpted from The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski Copyright © 2012 by Mark Z. Danielewski. Excerpted by permission of Pantheon, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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